A first half stunner from James Rodriguez and a late winner from Alvaro Arbeloa helped Real Madrid to keep the pressure on FC Barcelona as they moved back to within two points of the La Liga leaders with a 3-0 victory over Almeria at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday. Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score against Almeria, which was his third consecutive game without a goal. But coach Carlo Ancelotti defended his star attacker by claiming that he had be happy even if Ronaldo didna t score again this season.

FC Barcelona had secured a comfortable victory a day earlier over Getafe and the pressure was on Real Madrid to get all three points against Almeria. And Los Blancos secured a comfortable victory, thanks to a goal each from James Rodriguez and Alvaro Arbeloa. For this game, Ancelotti opted to hand the likes of Asier Illarramendi, Jese Rodriguez and Keylor Navas a rare starting berth.

Real Madrid made a slow start to the game as they failed to create any goal scoring opportunities. But, James Rodriguez scored through a stunning volley in the 44th minute, which was Los Blancosa 100th goal of the season, to put Real Madrid ahead at the half time. Their lead was doubled just after the start of the second half when Mauro dos Santos turned a cross into his own net. Alvaro Arbeloa scored third goal of Real Madrid in the 84th minute, which proved as a winning goal.

Meanwhile, despite a comfortable win against Almeria, question marks still remain over the form of Cristiano Ronaldo as he again failed to score on Wednesday. But Carlo Ancelotti defended his attacker in a press conference.

“If Cristano doesn’t score from today until the end of the season I would still be happy. He has already scored 50 goals this season,” Carlo Ancelotti said after the match.

“We are convinced that we can win the four remaining games in La Liga. We are not worried about Barcelona’s results,” he said.

“My cupboard is already full, but I have ambition for this club, the players, the fans.”